Posted on

Wedding Bells

Wedding season or farm season? It’s BOTH around here! It is a very special week at Klesick’s. Joelle and I are excited to welcome Abigail into our family. We have known her parents and family for years and have had the pleasure of watching Abby grow up before our eyes. She is a beautiful young lady and Andrew, our son, has definitely found the love of his life. We think she is pretty special, too.

What makes this wedding unique, is that Abby is Mike’s youngest daughter. Yes, the very same Mike, who responds to your emails and returns your phone calls is the proud father of the bride and future father-in-law to our son, Andrew.

Our families are excited for our children and their future.


Tristan Klesick

Posted on


I love that title #lovelocal! It resonates deeply with who Klesick’s is and why we do what we do. We are passionate about healthy communities and that starts with a healthy family—one delivery, one meal, one bite at a time. And going deeper, for our communities to be healthy we need local farmers and purveyors of healthy food, and we need our local natural resources to be as healthy as possible: healthy farmlands, rivers, estuaries, mountains, valleys and clean air. The whole package needs to be healthy to have healthy communities. 

As a local business owner and local farmer, I am blessed to be able to work on the entire healthy community spectrum. When I am not writing a newsletter or planning your menus, you might find me at my farm. It is pruning and planning season. Or you might find me at a salmon/agricultural meeting trying to strike a balance for food and habitat. Or you might find me working to get more organic food into the local food banks and kitchens that serve the “hungry”.  

We are just a small company, a dozen employees, but we can be a part of the solution to help families get real nutrition through the food bank system. I need your help to take a bigger bite out of hunger. 

  1. Just being a Klesick’s customer helps provide the infrastructure to serve local food banks. How? 
  2. Because we have customers, we have food and we generate #2 quality produce that we sort and save for food banks.
  3. And since we are a delivery company too, we can deliver this food to local food banks. 
  4. This week we are adding our first school backpack outreach program. Super excited! As a part of the Providence Live Healthy 2020 campaign I was able to connect with the Edmonds School District’s Nourishing Network. Currently they are serving 145+ students in 23 schools weekly and they would like to receive organic produce for these students.  
  5. We also offer our Neighbor Helping Neighbor program as an additional item you can purchase. You can actually purchase #1 quality produce, the same quality we send you, to send to a local food bank at a discounted price. You can even specify which food bank.  
  6. Here is our current list: Anacortes, ArlingtonCamano IslandEverett & Everett Recovery Café, Marysville, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Oak Harbor, Snohomish, and Stanwood. We deliver to 10!  
  7. These 10Food banks are open for serving the less fortunate at the time we deliver to these communities. 

If you would like to join Klesick’s on taking a bigger bite out of hunger at the local level, you can purchase a Neighbor Helping Neighbor box at the discounted price of $28 by clicking on any of the hyperlinked communities mentioned above. You can order a weekly, or every other week or monthly Neighbor Helping Neighbor box and we will do the rest. And to top it off, for every Neighbor Helping Neighbor box you purchase, we will send you a yearend tax donation receipt. 

This year we are celebrating 20 years of farming and delivering good food—more to come on that. In the last 20 years with your help, Klesick’s has delivered over 11,000 boxes of good food to local food banks! That is amazing and humbling all at the same time. Klesick’s (you and us) have made a difference in the lives of local families—one family, one delivery, one bite at a time. The need is still great. Please consider adding a Neighbor Helping Neighbor Box and help take a bite out of local hunger. 


Thank you,  

Health advocate and farmer, 


Posted on


Welcome to food safety in the Social Media world. Last week Consumer Reports felt that the FDA was not doing enough to protect consumers from an E. coli outbreak. Their experts felt strongly that the E. coli bacteria came from Romaine lettuce. No one knows if it came from packaged romaine, baby romaine, mixed bags of baby romaine, who distributed it, what farm it came from, etc.

What we do know is that there is anecdotal evidence that Romaine might be a common food eaten by the people who got sick. At that time there had been 17 cases in the United States over a 6-week period. There have been thousands of romaine lettuce heads sold during this time. E. coli is a very serious bacteria and can be deadly and at a minimum make a person very sick.

Romaine lettuce is suspected to be the carrier, but it is not clear if it is the romaine, or water it was washed in/irrigated with, or what region, or farm where the bacteria started from. Traceability is a big part of the solution. But the sheer size of our nation and its population makes tracing outbreaks like this really difficult.

The Centers for Disease Control, FDA, and USDA are all working on it and at this point cannot conclusively answer any of the who, what, when, why and where. Which is why there hasn’t been an official warning or recall yet. That might all change in the next few days, as I am writing this newsletter on Friday.

Here is what I can tell you. I have been a farmer for 20 years and been in the produce business for 25 years. Our fruit and vegetable food system is incredibly safe and during my tenure there has been only 1 vegetable related outbreak that is forever etched in my memory. It was the Spinach E. coli outbreak that sickened 276 people in 2006. They believe the contamination occurred from water in an irrigation ditch used to irrigate the spinach. But even this event took a few weeks to track down the source.

That event created what is now called the Food Safety Modernization Act and placed farm inspections into the hands of the FDA. As an aside, most food recalls are centered around processed foods, meat or packaged fruit and vegetables.

Klesick’s has been delivering fresh produce for over 20 years. We have deep relationships that go back just as long. When and if a food recall were to happen, we can reach out to our suppliers or other farms in a heartbeat. We can go right to the invoices and see where the product came from and, in many cases, we know immediately what field it was grown in. We also know which customers received the item in question and can contact them by email or phone based on the situation and all this can be done within an hour. I hope I never have to do any of this, but I know it can be done.

Being a small farm and small business with long standing relationships with other farmers and suppliers helps us provide the safest and most nutritious organically grown produce to you and your families.


Your Farmer and Health Advocate,


Posted on

Eat Healthy Be Healthy

This Saturday January 14th, Klesick Farms and 30 other healthy minded businesses are going to come together to share about healthy living and healthy healing. INSPIRE: a community be healthy event has been a dream of mine for a while and it is happening this week! Plan to come, learn and leave inspired.

No matter where you are on your health journey, needing to make big changes or nuance it, INSPIRE: a community be healthy event will be the boost you are looking for to start a healthier journey or reinforce your desire to live as healthy as possible. It doesn’t matter where you are on the “scale”, living healthy shouldn’t be complicated. “But it is…” But, it doesn’t have to be. The choice belongs to each of us.

There is also an incredible slate of speakers who have personally and passionately made the life changing decisions to improve their health and quality of life. And they know you can, too!

11:05 Hazel Borden, Alzheimer Association will be sharing about Brain health, the Mediterranean diet and Alzheimers.

1:05 Marilyn Mckenna Author of Eat like it matters…. will talk about her amazing 120lb weight loss journey and how she has kept it off for over a decade.

2:05 Maria Rippo, Author of the The Green Smoothie Challenge will talk about how to add health and vitality to your life with Green Smoothies.

3:05 I will be talking about Organic Farming and the trials of the current food system.

There will also be several mini seminars going on all day long at the various booths. For example, the Manning Family Wellness booth will be offering demonstrations on how to make pesticide free products for your home and how to use essential oils in your kitchen. We have created an Inspire Passport with free prizes like a Rain barrel from the Snohomish Conservation District or a month of FREE produce delivered ($112 value).

This is going to be a healthy Person, Home and Community event and a whole lot of passionate and wonderful people have set aside this Saturday to share their knowledge and help you on your health journey. And I am excited to introduce them to you!

For more information visit Save the date, bring your family/friends and come, learn and leave inspired!

As an added bonus, when you come to our booth and say, “Hi,” Klesick Farms will give you a $5 credit on your next delivery.

Farmer/health Advocate

Tristan Klesick

Posted on

Now Delivering: Farm-fresh Milk from Twin Brook Creamery

In case you missed it…here are the need-to-know details on fresh, local, all-natural dairy, delivered to you.

We’re now offering local milk products from Twin Brook Creamery in Lynden, Washington. You can now add whole, 2%, and 1% milk, half and half, and whipping cream to a regular delivery!

Shop the local dairy section here.

Order Deadlines:

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday customers: Orders are due by 8:00 a.m. the Friday before your delivery day.

Friday and Saturday customers: Orders are due by 8:00 a.m. the Wednesday before your delivery day.

Not sure what your delivery day is? See our delivery areas guide here.

Free delivery with a box of good order, or if you’re not getting a box of produce each week, our minimum order for free delivery is just $20. Consider adding your milk order on a weekly or bi-weekly rotation and you’ll never have to remember the milk again!

What you need to know:

Twin Brook Creamery products are:
  • All natural and GMO-free.
  • Local.
  • Non-homogenized.
  • No synthetic hormones used (such as RBST).
  • No commercial fertilizer or pesticides used on our grass fields or pastures.
  • Kosher certified.

Although Twin Brook Creamery is not certified organic, they produce a high quality natural product that is free from synthetic hormones (such as RBST) that artificially stimulate growth or milk production. Because they strive not to feed any GMO feeds to their cows, their grass fields and pastures are free from commercial fertilizers or pesticides, and any concentrate supplements they have to buy for their animals’ health, so as to give them a balanced diet, are non-GMO whenever possible (e.g., they use barley instead of corn as an energy source). Twin Brook Creamery strives to be the best possible stewards of the land, providing wildlife habitat and using the best management practices that are available.

Note: Leave your clean empty glass bottle(s) out on your next delivery day to avoid a $2 bottle fee.

Posted on

Falling in Color

A few years back my mother made a comment I never thought of before. She was visiting from Peru, where I was born and raised and where we only have two very distinct seasons: summer and winter. In Peru we don’t get to experience the transition between winter and spring or summer and fall like we do in the Pacific Northwest. She said, “I remember growing up and watching my mother paint landscapes. She would always include full color trees: orange, red, and pink. I never knew they really existed. Seeing them is like being in one of her paintings.”

After I heard that, I never looked at fall the same way. The beauty of nature never ceases to amaze me. Fall colors are bright and soothing and the air is crisp and fresh. But fall brings so much more than a feast for the eyes: squash, apples, dark leafy greens. Farms are bursting with new varieties of produce, so I make a resolution to try them all!

Butternut squash is my favorite – naturally sweet, versatile, and very “meaty.” Many people assume the only use for butternut squash is in soups, but I like to roast it and keep it in the refrigerator in three different forms: mashed, sliced, and cubed.


  • Add a tablespoon to your morning smoothie with dates and cinnamon for a fall twist
  • Add it to your pancake batter
  • Make pumpkin bread
  • Great with creamy sauces, such as mac n’ cheese


  • Phenomenal for lasagnas; layer it with béchamel sauce, spinach, and mozzarella for one of the best vegetarian lasagnas you’ve ever had
  • Or top it with olive oil, walnuts, and breadcrumbs and broil it for a great side dish
  • Use it as a pizza topping


  • Include it in stews, curries, soups, and salads
  • Glaze it with maple syrup, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt for a sweet and savory side dish
  • Toss it with olive oil, pasta, kale, and bacon, with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for a hearty supper

As you can see there are many ways to add butternut squash to your fall menu. I hope this is a good start!

In recent years I have learned to appreciate the small things in life. Even though my excitement for butternut squash can be cliché to many, it really does make a big difference when we stop and appreciate nature’s gifts. Countless times a year I say to my family and friends, “Isn’t it amazing that this came out of nature? How good does this taste?!” It’s in the little things that we find contentment and appreciation for the abundance we have. Happy falling!
Sara Balcazar-Greene (aka. Peruvian Chick)
Peruvian Food Ambassador


Posted on

Here We Go!

Harvest is in full swing at the farm! At last I can start to recoup some of my investments from the spring. Sounds crazy doesn’t it – paying bills from the spring.  But that is how it works for most farmers. We spend a lot of money early in the season on fuel, seed, fertilizers, etc., hoping to nurture our crops through the season and get to harvest. That was no small task this year! But we are here.

Some CSA type farms charge their members $500 to $800 upfront and then manage the money for the remainder of the farm season. Our model is different, as we let you pay as you go and rely on earning your business with every delivery.

Sure, it would be nice to collect a pile of cash up front instead of digging into our savings every year, but that isn’t the model Joelle and I chose. We chose a pay-as-you-go model for several reasons, the primary one being access to organic food. I want as many families as possible and as many families that want to eat locally and healthfully to not be deterred by a hefty up front lump sum like $500 -$800.

Anyhow, now is the time that the Klesick farm starts to replenish our ability to farm next year. We have been harvesting all summer, but the peas, apples, raspberries, and garlic help us keep the cash flow positive. The potatoes and winter squash are the crops that really serve as the work horses to pay the bills. So now we are busy taking advantage of the remaining good weather to get those crops up and out of the field.

For folks that like to stock up (and there are a quite a few of you), the following Klesick farm items are online and available for purchase:

Bulk potatoes: red, yellow or mixed (unwashed) 50 lbs. for $50.00

Winter Squash Collection 30 lbs. for $37.50 (This would make a great harvest display on your table or porch, which is where Joelle stores our winter squash)

Winter luxury pie pumpkins (not pumpkin pie, but they make a mighty tasty oneJ) $5 each

SquashFest is October 3rd and 4th, at the farm from 11am to 5pm. Come on down and help us harvest some winter squash and potatoes. We will also be planting next year’s garlic that weekend and you are welcome to help us plant – many hands make light work.

Cheers to another Harvest!

Farmer Tristan


Posted on

Baker Awakening

About 20 years ago, while training to make artisan bread, the concepts taught were a return to the old ways of baking—developed over thousands of years prior to the invention of large scale milling and centralized agriculture. I learned about long, cool and slow fermentation of dough drawing out the hidden essence of the grain and bringing natural sweetness to the loaf as the starches broke down into simple sugars. How these sugars caramelized the crust, deepening the layers of taste and aroma throughout the bread. This drew me to the craft: my love of fine food and rich flavor.

I soon realized there was even more to this magic of baking than I was imagining. My lessons since have taken me on a journey of understanding and imparted upon me the responsibility to feed people not only delicious bread, but more importantly, a healthful and nutritious loaf.

Touring Kansas on a busload of bakers was an eye opener. I saw the shear impact large agriculture has on our environment and communities. Wheat can grow any place, it’s a grass. It is mono-cropped in the Midwest not because this is a great place for it to grow, it’s one of few things that can be kept alive there…on a life support system of synthetic nitrogen, herbicide and pesticide. The farmers themselves would not eat the grain from their fields, but instead cultivated a side crop, unsprayed, compost fertilized and home milled for their own consumption. Their towns are nearly vacant.

Weston Price and Sally Fallon introduced me to Phytate, a molecule in the kernel of wheat binding the vitamins and minerals that the future plant will need to grow. When this seed begins to germinate, an enzyme releases the bonds. If the wheat is instead ground into flour, and the dough fermented quickly, there isn’t time for these nutrients to unlock. They are not available to your body. Extended dough fermentation, especially sourdough, mimics germination, releasing the nutrients for human absorption.

Andrew Whitley (Bread Matters) quantified the Price/Fallon work for me. The brain receives the hunger signal when the body is asking for nutrients, not just calories. For most of us, hunger means “eat food”. When we choose food with little nutritional value (or availability), we gain the calories, though the hunger signal returns. We eat again, until the nutrition finally adds up to what the body needs to operate. The calories add up as well. In our country, this has led us to obesity, childhood & adult-onset diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc. It’s vital for me to make food providing more nutrition per caloric bite.

I shouldn’t mention gluten. I love the stuff. This substance allows me to turn a hard seed of wheat into a light, soft, airy, palatable and nutritious food. My life revolves around gluten. People have consumed gluten for over 5,000 years and prospered. But we aren’t actually set up to digest straight grains.

Every culture from the dawn of agriculture has pre-processed any grain prior to eating. We learned to boil, soak, sprout, grind, and/or ferment our grain; maximizing digestive and nutritional qualities. This was bread making until the 1940’s when the world at war had to produce food faster with fewer people. Automation and chemical additions to bread dough produced edible loaves in less than 4 hours. It’s no ‘wonder’ we can’t digest this stuff. In fact, gluten may not even be the culprit.


Artisan baking is a revival of earlier baking methodology. These bakers ferment grain. I have many customers who eat our bread and none other because it’s digestible without issue. I suspect they would manage fine with most long fermented breads.

(note:  Celiac Disease is a unique case of gluten effecting the lining of the intestine and subsequent nutrient absorption by the body.  Our bread does not keep this from occurring.)

Now, I am a different baker than I was when I started. As I learn, I adapt. I understand the importance of my loaves as community builders, as environmental stewards, as nutrition, as health. Staff of life, indeed—by making bread well, the world around us vastly improves.

by Scott Mangold, Owner of Breadfarm

Posted on

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

That storm came in with a vengeance and left a wake of damaged trees from Stanwood to Vancouver B.C. Snapped branches and busted power lines were everywhere. I usually think of a storm like that coming in December. I wasn’t around when the big storm of ’63 came through, but I do remember my mom finishing a Thanksgiving turkey on the top of a wood stove in ’83.

Well, about the time I took assessment of all the damage around the house, it dawned on me, “I wonder if the greenhouses are still there.” A greenhouse is like a big kite – the wind can catch a corner and twist it all up or it can break free and start flying.  A little worried, I walked around the corner of the barn and, with a sigh of relief, I saw that they were still standing with all the plastic still attached.

We built our greenhouses out of wood and used some big rebar anchors to secure them to the ground. That surely helped hold them together, but probably the biggest factor for them to hold together was maintenance!

Earlier in the spring a piece of the channel we used to secure the greenhouse plastic had pulled free and was flopping in the wind, so I decided to fix it. I can almost guarantee that if I hadn’t taken the time at that moment to go get the cordless drill and re-secure the plastic, I would have lost most of it in that storm. Mostly because once we get to farming, the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” wins the day and when the weather is as beautiful as it was from April to mid-August, I wouldn’t have given the greenhouse another thought. Boy, am I ever glad I fixed that greenhouse!

It is the same with our health. All too often we put off changing a health habit that we “know” isn’t good for us because we really aren’t “broken.” Many of us ignore all the little symptoms that are “talking” to us, push through them, and keep on going. It’s only years later that we realize that these things didn’t get the attention that they deserved. Moms and dads are especially guilty of this. We rarely take care of ourselves because being a parent by definition means that the needs of others come first.

But in the end, it is up to us to care for ourselves, to make a better food choice, a better health choice, to go see the M.D., N.D., chiropractor, etc. Most of you already are making better food choices for yourself and your family because you are getting a box of good. What about the rest of the healthy choices? It is your story and a healthy you is one of the best gifts you can give to those you love.



Posted on

Join Me in Protecting the Integrity of Our Food Supply

Locally, we have been fighting to preserve farmland and now I need your help to convince our two Congress Representatives to vote NO on HR1599: the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. This bill essentially prevents states from adopting their own GMO laws and REVERSES any laws that have already passed. That is the wrong kind of leadership on this issue.

The anti-GMO community is calling this the DARK Act (Denying Americans the Right to Know Act).  I have spoken with Congressman Rick Larsen and Congresswoman Suzan Delbene’s office and neither of them are committing at this time on which way they are going to vote. The vote is in two days – I know how I would vote!

Please click on the link and express your opinion. The vote is scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday. Also, please share this and let’s let our representatives know that GMO’s are not the future and should not receive preferential treatment from the federal government. ASK them to vote NO on HB 1599, aka the DARK Act.





Act Now on GMO Labeling to Stop the “DARK” Act

Contact your Representative in Congress today!

From the National Organic Coalition 

The innocuously named HR 1599: the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act has been dubbed the DARK Act (Denying Americans the Right-to-Know Act) by members of the good food movement. The DARK Act will be voted on in Congress next week.

The DARK Act will:

  • Prevent states from adopting their own GMO labeling laws and reverse laws that have already passed.
  • Prevent state or county laws regulating GMO crops.
  • Prevent the Food and Drug Administration from requiring companies to label GMO ingredients and instead continue a “voluntary” labeling policy. In 14 years, not one company has voluntary labeled products containing GMO ingredients.

Take action now to stop the DARK Act!

  1. Call the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-224-3121, and ask for your Representative’s office where you can leave her or him a message.
    Click here to find out who your Representative is.
  2. Click here to send an email: Tell Congress to oppose the DARK Act and support mandatory GE food labeling!

Below is some sample language for your message to your Representative.
Please customize this to fit your voice.

Please oppose HR 1599 (the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”). Congress should focus on the labeling solutions that Americans are asking for – not legislation written by and for big food and chemical companies that only serves to keep Americans in the dark.

You may also thank legislators who have come out against the Dark Act and for labeling:

Chris Gibson of New York
Peter DeFazio of Oregon
Barbara Boxer of California

For more information, and to send a message today, click here.

GMO food labeling is important to Americans, with over 90% consistently supporting transparency in the marketplace. In 2013 and 2014 there were over 70 GMO labeling bills introduced across 30 states, with laws being passed in Maine, Connecticut and Vermont.

View this post on